Growing Cape Gooseberry, also Golden Berry, Inca Berry

View the Cape Gooseberry page

10 Feb 22 B Welch (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I plant the public road fences of my farm with various edibles. Our Cape Gooseberrys are dropping fruit on the ground, some of which I assume will grow. I intend to drill holes about 3m apart, 150mm deep, just to loosen the clay, then push a whole fruit in, and cover with 10mm of clay, hide it from birds etc. I know that sounds rough, but it's a lot of planting, so I'd like to keep it simple. what are my chances? What extra must I do? Slow release fert? Thanks B.
17 Feb 22 Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
Clay soil is a massive topic, I suggest you read a few articles - here is a very positive one: https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/dirt-dirt-clay -- like the article states your soil is probably loaded with nutrition, water is the real issue; the way clay soil gets water logged and heavy. The standard rule of thumb with clay soil is: load it up with organic matter (manure, leaves, kitchen compost, etc.). You can just LAYER these on the soil. Additionally, choosing plants that tolerate/like clay soil -- I think the hardy kiwi can tolerate this soil as well as American Persimmon, osage oranges and lots of other plants. They have online plant finders that can help you isolate which plants have the highest probability of success. One thing I did notice when working with heavy clay soils was that plants take a lot longer to establish and grow. I suspect I wouldn't make the effort to plant anything other than plants that are specifically listed as clay tolerant -- you have to go right down to the type of plant: for example: OSAGE oranges not just any oranges .... but maybe all oranges can tolerate clay... you need to check by the type.
11 Feb 22 Anonymous of Bundaberg (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
You need better soil than clay. It is like anything, the better the preparation the better the result. A shovel load of good soil will have better results.

Clay soil is a massive topic, I suggest you read a few articles - here is a very positive one: https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/dirt-dirt-clay -- like the article states your soil is probably loaded with nutrition, water is the real issue; the way clay soil gets water logged and heavy. The standard rule of thumb with clay soil is: load it up with organic matter (manure, leaves, kitchen compost, etc.). You can just LAYER these on the soil. Additionally, choosing plants that tolerate/like clay soil -- I think the hardy kiwi can tolerate this soil as well as American Persimmon, osage oranges and lots of other plants. They have online plant finders that can help you isolate which plants have the highest probability of success. One thing I did notice when working with heavy clay soils was that plants take a lot longer to establish and grow. I suspect I wouldn't make the effort to plant anything other than plants that are specifically listed as clay tolerant -- you have to go right down to the type of plant: for example: OSAGE oranges not just any oranges .... but maybe all oranges can tolerate clay... you need to check by the type.

- Celeste Archer

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